Los Angeles, Calif. (09/21/2022) – Despite a late Ashley Hatch score, the Spirit’s first win streak of the regular season came to an end against Angel City FC Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium.
Angel City had its first offensive opportunity in the 13th minute when Jun Endo fought through a tackle before finding Savannah McCaskill who fired a shot high and to the right of the net. Four minutes later, McCaskill put a header on target that was blocked away by Aubrey Kingsbury. Another three minutes later, Kingsbury was again forced to make a save off a direct free kick before she saved a sharp-angle shot from Claire Emslie in the 28th minute.
The Spirit attack started to settle in during the second third of the match. In the 34th minute, Sam Staab had an opportunity from close range following a corner kick that was blocked by a teammate at the top of the six-yard box. In the 36th, Ashley Sanchez took a direct free kick from a few yards outside the box that was saved by a diving DiDi Haračić. Two minutes later, Dorian Bailey fired a shot on target that was also saved by a diving Haračić.
Angel City broke the scoreless deadlock in the 39th minute when captain Ali Riley sent a close-range cross in front of the goal to Emslie who buried a right-footed shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. Washington threatened to knot the score again two minutes later when Tara McKeown put a header on target that was saved by Haračić.
The expansion side wasted no time doubling its lead in the second half when substitute Simone Charley received a cross from Jasmyne Spencer and buried a header in the 51st minute. Washington made a few closing threats over the following minutes when Haračić had to make several saves off of Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez. At the start of the final third of the match, Washington saw two stellar opportunities come up just short when McKeown and Trinity Rodman had shots blocked away from close range. Julia Roddar almost tallied her first goal of the season in the 79th minute with a shot that carried just wide.
In the 83rd minute, however, Simone Charley almost earned a brace with her centered shot that went wide. With just two minutes left before stoppage time, the Spirit was still in search of its first score of the night. Defending Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch drew a foul in the penalty area, stepped up and earned her ninth regular season goal in the 88th minute to cut the Angel City lead in half. With just four minutes of stoppage time, Washington was unable to put together any more scoring opportunities before the final whistle.
Despite the late effort by the Spirit attacking third, Angel City FC took the decision and took a step closer to earning a playoff spot. The Spirit will be back in action on Sunday afternoon as it takes on the Kansas City Current at Children’s Mercy Park on Paramount+.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Angel City FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: September 21, 2022
Venue: Banc of California Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Weather: Clear skies, low-70s
LA – Claire Emslie – 39’
LA – Simone Charley – 51’
WAS – Ashley Hatch – 88’ (PK)
LA: 13- DiDi Haračić; 5- Ali Riley; 14- Paige Nielsen; 6- Megan Reid; 3- Jasmyne Spencer (20- Tyler Lussi 76’); 17- Dani Weatherholt; 18- Jun Endo; 29- Clarisse Le Bihan; 8- Cari Roccaro (7- Simone Charley 46’); 9- Savannah McCaskill (28- Lily Nabet 77’); 10- Claire Emslie (16- Mary Alice Vignola 90’)
Unused Substitutes: 26- Hope Breslin; 99- Madison Hammond; 39- Almuth Schult; 25- Allyson Swaby; 35- Miri Taylor
WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 21- Anna Heilferty; 3- Sam Staab; 16- Julia Roddar; 30- Camryn Biegalski (4- Karina Rodriguez 59’); 12- Andi Sullivan (13- Bayley Feist 46’); 19- Dorian Bailey; 9- Tara McKeown; 10- Ashley Sanchez; 2- Trinity Rodman; 33- Ashley Hatch
Unused Substitutes: 7- Taylor Aylmer; 11- Jordan Baggett; 28- Nicole Barnhart; 29- Maddie Elwell; 18- Devon Kerr; 25- Marissa Sheva; 20- Gaby Vincent
Stats Summary: LA / WAS
Shots: 14 / 12
Shots On Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 5 / 2
Shots Blocked: 3 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 4
Offsides: 5 / 2
WAS – Trinity Rodman – 90’+4’ – Yellow Card